GSK launches the dispersible tablet formulation of its innovative anti-epileptic drug Lamictal in China

On 1 June, the International Children’s Day, GSK announced that the dispersible tablet formulation of Lamictal (lamotrigine dispersible tablet), its drug for treating epilepsy, has been officially launched in the Chinese market. Earlier, on 24 May 2019, an 8-year-old girl under treatment at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University became the first patient to take Lamictal dispersible tablet in mainland China. This marks a milestone for Lamictal, as with the dispersible tablet formulation, Lamictal is benefiting children two years of age and above, as well as adult and elderly epilepsy patients.

On 25 December 2018, Lamictal dispersible tablet was approved by the NMPA for launch, to be used for the treatment of various seizure types and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) of adults and children with epilepsy. As an upgrade of Lamictal conventional tablet, Lamictal dispersible tablet features a variety of dose strengths to meet the needs of epilepsy patients at different ages. Furthermore, the conventional tablets and the new dispersible tablets can also be interchanged without the need for re-titration. Available in black currant flavour, Lamictal dispersible tablet disintegrates rapidly and evenly in water, which significantly improves the medication convenience and compliance of child patients 1,2.

For individuals stabilised on chronic treatment, tablets or capsules should be preferred to syrups as they allow more precise dosing, and avoid the effect of tooth-damaging ingredients such as sucrose3. This feature also provides better treatment options for many child patients.

Currently there are around 9 million epilepsy patients in China, with an annual increase of 400,000, of whom two-thirds are children4. Epilepsy is a neurological disease second only to stroke in China, which seriously affects the physical and mental health and quality of life of patients. Thus the objective of epilepsy treatment is not only to control seizures, but also to improve the patients’ quality of life5.

Lamictal was first launched in China in 1996 and has benefitted more than 3 million patients. It is, in fact, the first-line drug in the treatment of epilepsy for partial seizures and generalised seizures as recommended by UK’s NICE guidelines, the US AAN/AES guidelines, the SIGN guidelines in Scotland and China’s clinical guidelines on epilepsy diagnosis and treatment in 20155,6,7,8.

Prof. Hong Zhen, President of the China Association against Epilepsy and Professor of Neurology of Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University, said, “Thanks to the joint efforts across generations, China has achieved substantial progress in epilepsy treatment. Doctors and patients have been looking forward to the introduction of more and better drugs into the Chinese market. The launch of Lamictal dispersible tablet provides great convenience for epilepsy patients as it helps them adhere to a long-term treatment regime for better outcomes. We believe it will greatly enhance patient compliance, in particular among children and elderly patients. We wish the launch of Lamictal dispersible tablet great success!”

Dr. James He, VP, Head of Medical Affairs of GSK China, said, “In line with our patient focus, GSK has been dedicated to the R&D and innovation of central nervous system drugs, and introducing more innovative, high-quality drugs to China in a sustained and efficient manner to benefit Chinese patients. The launch of Lamictal dispersible tablet in China offers a better option for 9 million epilepsy patients in China, and dramatically enhances medication convenience and compliance, especially among children, resulting in significantly improved prognosis. I wish the launch of Lamictal dispersible tablet great success!”

Lamictal dispersible tablets are expected to be available in more than 100 hospitals and pharmacies across China in the next three months. GSK will continue to enhance drug access and improve the quality of life of more Chinese epilepsy patients. With our commitment to ‘In China, With China, For China’, GSK will continue to contribute to our better future for patients in China.

 

References:

  1. Chinese–language insert of lamotrigine dispersible tablet
  2. The Prescription, Technological Characteristics And Progress Of Dispersible Tablets. Drug Evaluation, 2005 Vol. 2 No. 3
  3. The treatment of Epilepsy, fourth edition, edited by Simon Shorvon, Emilio Perucca, Jerome Engel, Jr. Wiley Blackwell
  4. On Epilepsy and Genetic Diseases. Zhai Qiongxiang. Journal of Practical Medicine, Vol. 28, No.13, 2012
  5. Guidelines for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment (Epilepsy), China Association against Epilepsy. People's Health Publishing House, 2015
  6. National institute for health and care excellence. Epilepsies: diagnosis and management, 2012
  7. Kanner A M, et al.Neurology, 2018: 10.1212/WNL. 0000000000005756.
  8. Healthcare improvement Scotland. Diagnosis and management of epilepsy in adults, 2015